I'm fussy, y'all. I missed some prime surf this weekend to entertain my uninvited visitor Aunt Flo. (Sorry, guys.) And despite not surfing, I still managed to twist my right ankle. Things can be worse, as the news shows us, but I don't feel like having perspective right now.
Jimmie Johnson has officially won a quarter of the NASCAR Nextel Cup races this season. Nine out of 36. No matter what else happens in the race--little Kyle Busch leads the majority of laps, Matt Kenseth gets hell-bent for leather and jousts first with Denny Hamlin and then with Johnson, wrecks pile up--it seems to keep ending the same way. I know it's not the most mature attitude, but I'm really getting so sick of it. Did people feel this way when Tony Stewart (who seems to have completely given up this year) won all those races at the end of last season? How about when "King" Richard Petty, who my father idolized, was in his prime? Are the Boston teams making fans of those boring "ball sports" just sick and tired of them? Did the Florida Gators burn out college football fans last year?
I don't know. I've been taught not to begrudge success to those who have earned it, and intellectually I know Johnson and his team deserve the championship this year. It's just that there was this four year old inside me squealing, "Aw, not fair!" when he did yet another victory burnout last night. She made me turn the TV off before he even got to Victory Lane. Oh, well. There's next year.
I wrote an article for Talk2Action this weekend. I even got to illustrate it with pandas, which was nice. (I wish there were more fan sites and organizations for penguin and zebra lovers, too, but pandas are good.) It's called Happy Holidays or Controlling Christmas? That dreadful "War on Christmas" nonsense is coming back this year, and it really upsets me. For one thing, I like holidays, and this kind of crap spoils them. For another, it is yet another opportunity for "conservative" bullies to get what Bill Maher so eloquently described as a "fake outrage hard-on" at the expense of lives like mine. Even some of my relatives seem to think that acknowledging people like me or my apatheist brother in the last part of the year is an assault on their holiday, religion, and way of life.
Like most American Pagans, I am a convert away from Christianity. My Pagan journey began when I began studying Wicca 11 years ago. I still can't believe I've been anything that long; I spent my teens oscillating wildly between skepticism, fundamentalist Christianity, and liberal Christianity. But I remember my first pang of regret, religious buyer's remorse if you will, during the "Christmas" season. I felt like I had just cut myself off from society, and I felt stupid about that. Really defensive, too--I snarled at anyone who dared to wish me a "Merry Christmas." I was used to feeling more like part of things, and now I was an outsider. My Jewish friends said things like, "Welcome to my world." They talked of watching "It's a Wonderful Life" on TV and eating Chinese food on Christmas Day.
I have matured since, both in faith and in years. The world's matured since, too. People don't ask me if I'm Jewish when they see my pentacle. (Of course, I now live in the city that has more Jews than Israel, but still.) They say "Blessed be" and smile at me. I learned as a European-tradition Pagan, the tree is actually *mine*. I see more stuff for "holidays" and more blank or neutral cards, which I think is just fine. Retailers see that Jews and Wiccans and European-tradition Pagans use lights for our celebrations of light, and sell them as "holiday lights" now. I used to make my Solstice cards with construction paper, like I was five, and I don't have to anymore. So the way that tub-thumping leaders and pundits are hyping all this up as an assault on Christianity itself upsets me. Just because I'm no longer in the 800-pound-gorilla religious demographic doesn't mean I have to be rendered completely invisible for the last two months of the year. The 800-pound-gorilla can afford to yield a little room to the lemurs. I think most Christians see that, too. I hope.
Arctic foxes make themselves frozen dinners!
Working at work increases productivity.
How Lisa Nowak (the diaper-wearing astronaut's) case is setting feminism back.
Same-sex couple "demographic explosion" in the South and Midwest!
Fantastic cartoon on "No Child Left Behind". The boy I tutor gets so frustrated at the endless testing.
Finally, you know who really doesn't want Obama to get the nomination or become president? Comedians!